Happy Father’s Day! Every so often there will be articles written in newspapers, in books and online asking, “Are men still relevant?” With new fertility methods a single woman can choose to have a baby entirely on her own, and women have been single mothers, whether by choice or circumstance, for years.
Personally, I believe a gender that accounts for roughly half the human population is in-and-of-itself relevant, but numbers aside, I found this story particularly interesting.
A few years ago the rangers at Kruger National Park in South Africa found themselves in a bit of an elephant situation. Once endangered, the elephant population had now exploded, and they needed to thin out the numbers. As you can imagine, adult male elephants are pretty darn heavy to harness and helicopter out of the park, so the rangers decided to relocate the female and children elephants to another reserve. Problem solved. Right?
Wrong. A few years later, Pilanesburg National Park, the park with the relocated elephant moms and kids, started experiencing a bizarre issue. All the white rhinos were being killed violently. At first the rangers suspected poachers but since the horns were left on the rhinos, they were perplexed by this mystery. They secretly set up video cameras and guess what they found?
The young male elephants, not having any father-figure elephants around to teach them how to act, turned into little tribes of juvenile delinquents! Apparently during mating season the testosterone levels in male elephants rise, and the teen boys didn’t know how to handle it, so they formed gangs of little badass elephants and messed with all the animals in the park, which is completely un-elephant-like behavior.
So the rangers built sturdier harnesses and flew in some adult male elephants. Guess what happened? Within two weeks the older male elephants had the teen boys totally under control and civilized again.
Now, I don’t speak elephantese, but here’s how I think a conversation might have gone down:
- Teen Elephant: “You’re not the boss of me! You ain’t so bad! Ima knock over a rhino now!”
- Father Elephant: “Knock it off before I kill you.”
- Teen Elephant: “Um…ok.”
Here’s the article about the elephants: In the Absence of Fathers: A Story of Elephants and Men.
Are men still relevant? Go ask an elephant. 😉
Today, let’s celebrate the dads of the world. And if you don’t have a dad in your life, why not thank the men in your life who are present? How are you celebrating Father’s Day?
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